3 Ways to Advance Your Career in Finance and Accounting
If you’re set on an accounting career and deeply invested in advancing up the ranks, there are different things that will improve your chances of succeeding. Don’t leave your career development up to chance.
Here are three things you can do that will each contribute differently to getting better results in your career.
Locate a Suitable Mentor
Finding a mentor can enable you to enter into a special relationship with someone more successful who has trodden a similar path. Typically, mentors like to help others to advance in their careers and enjoys sharing their insights into how to make this happen. It provides a good feeling for them to assist a likeminded person. In return, the mentee will benefit from knowledge beyond their years or experience level which helps them to avoid pitfalls along the route and usually speeds their progress in their respective field.
It’s not always possible to find a suitable mentor in your current workplace. This could be because there are several junior accountants looking to move up making it inappropriate to favor one over another, or simply because a senior person lacks the time or inclination. If this is true for you, look for someone through an accountant friend who works at another reputable firm. See if they can provide a useful connection for you to reach out to.
Study for Your Masters
A master’s degree in accounting (MSA) will place you above the other accountants at the company who stopped studying once they graduated with their bachelor’s. Accountants with a master’s degree tend to improve their career velocity due to their advanced training and suitability for more senior roles like a Corporate Controller or CFO.
The MS in accounting online offered by Merrimack College doesn’t require a GMAT and can be completed online in just 16 months. It’s ideal for those that are already working in an accounting role full-time but are willing to invest additional time in their career progression. If you’re extremely busy and sometimes are expected to work overtime, then the MSA at Merrimack is useful because it can be completed over five years.
Most papers are mandatory, but several are elective including the interesting areas of forensic accounting, accounting information systems, and business law.
Improve Your Communication Skills
It’s not unreasonable to say that accountants aren’t known to be the most outgoing of people. You can use that to your advantage by focusing on improving your communication skills. Not only will this make you easier to communicate with, but you’ll seem more approachable too. Business owners and senior managers will want to deal with you wherever possible, rather than talk with another accountant who fumbles through verbal communication.
If you’re managing junior staff like sales ledger clerks or payroll administrators, then work on your leadership and training skills. Become the best manager you can be. Envision yourself managing the whole accounting department in a few years and develop your management skills with this in mind.
It takes dedication and long periods of hard work, but when approached the right way, a highly remunerative career in the finance field is more than possible.